"I would think that there have been many politicians - I'm not one of them, by the way - that have said a lot worse over the telephone", President Trump told reporters.
Several local IL officials, including the governor and some Republicans, said it was a mistake to commute Blagojevich's sentence. Allies of Mr. Stone have pleaded with President Trump through the Fox screen for a Stone pardon.
Trump has attacked Judge Jackson on twitter several times in the past two weeks, leading the chief judge of the District of Columbia District Court, Beryl Howell, to issue a statement declaring that "Public criticism or pressure is not a factor" in judges' rulings or sentencing decisions.
U.S. President Trump goes on clemency spree, and the list is long
One question now is what Trump hopes to gain from securing the freedom of a man who became a national laughingstock after his 2008 arrest and the release of now-infamous tapes in which he can be heard hatching various schemes, including one in which he sought to sell an appointment to Barack Obama's Senate seat after Obama was elected president.
Former Manhattan Assistant U.S. Attorney Mimi Rocah said the pardons sends a message that corruption is OK and "signal to his friends who are facing investigations or prosecutions for white collar crimes. that Trump has their back".
Blagojevich's case had been championed by his wife, Patti, who went on a media blitz in 2018.More news: Season 2 Leaked Skins & Cosmetics Found in v12.00
And relatives of Paul Pogue, the owner of a construction company found guilty of underpaying his taxes, who Mr Trump also pardoned, have donated large sums to Mr Trump's reelection campaign.
But Trump also commuted the sentences of several women more representative of the flood of requests that presidents typically receive. "We are just filled with happiness and gratitude", said Yamilla Cruz Estrada, Negron's sister, thanking Trump for answering the family's prayers. "Today, Trump granted clemency to tax cheats, Wall Street crooks, billionaires, and corrupt government officials", said Senator Bernie Sanders, the leading Democratic candidate for the presidency.
"If I had the ability to vote", he told reporters Wednesday in front of his Chicago home, "I would vote for him".
Trump commuted the ex-governor's "ridiculous" sentence on Tuesday, echoing the complaints he'd made about Roger Stone's criminal case. She also mentioned Mueller, the former FBI director who was appointed to investigate the president, and described the investigation into her husband as an attempt to to "undo an election by the people".More news: Reinier, very excited: "I fulfill a childhood dream"
The White House lauded Mr Kerik for having "courageously led the New York Police Department's heroic response to the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001" and said that, "since his conviction, he has focused on improving the lives of others, including as a passionate advocate for criminal justice and prisoner re-entry reform".
In the wake of the impeachment debacle for the Democrats, Trump is asserting quasi-dictatorial powers, defying any effort to set limits on the power of the executive branch.
"When people tell [Trump] not to do things, he's going to do it", Helland said.More news: Mourinho: Tottenham were in a gunfight without bullets in RB Leipzig defeat